Over the last few years, data protection has been firmly intertwined with wider political developments in a politically charged environment. So much so that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) launched an investigation into how data analysis was being used for political purposes. At the same time, religious organisations have become a target for hackers. Not least because these organisations often handle large sums of money and have databases of confidential member information.
All kinds of religious and political institutions are experiencing data breaches. This includes:
Churches and other religious organisations. Religious organisations hold a wealth of sensitive data on their members, but many have failed to put robust data protection policies in place to deal with this confidential information.
Political parties. The ICO has had to write to all the main UK political parties to remind them to adhere to data protection laws. Data security also hit the headlines following attempted political cyber-attacks.
Political consulting firms. The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal highlighted what can happen when consultancy firms access our personal and political data.
With significant amounts of private data stored, processed, and shared by political and religious groups, robust security measures are more critical than ever. But there are questions over whether political parties and religious organisations across the ideological and faith divide are upholding our right to data privacy as well as they should be.
Keller Lenkner UK has gained an enviable reputation in data breach law. And, with a team of data breach experts led by Kingsley Hayes – arguably the UK’s foremost data breach solicitor – and considerable expertise in this field, it’s easy to see why. Here are just some examples of the political and religious cases our data protection lawyers have dealt with…
Morag suffered sexual harassment by a person in a senior position at her church. She subsequently shared her experience with a grief counselling organisation. However, this organisation passed the details of her allegation to the individual who harassed her. He then embarked on a sustained campaign of defamation and persecution against Morag.
Her church was very important to Morag, and this experience has caused her significant harm.
We are helping Morag claim compensation for this shocking breach of her privacy and for the enormous distress she has experienced because of the violation.
Alisha is a respected political journalist. Because of the nature of her work, it is vital that she stays neutral and does not appear to support one party over another. However, when discussing with an MP on social media, the politician looked up her Party’s records and discovered that Alisha was a member. She then outed Alisha’s membership in the publicly viewable online conversation.
Alisha feels that her impartial reputation has been damaged, and she believes that her future career progression has been jeopardised.
We are helping Alisha claim compensation for the breach of her data privacy, and the potential impact on her livelihood.
James became a whistleblower as he had concerns that health & safety failings at his company were being covered up. However, his employer had a close relationship with James’s church and contacted a member of the clergy to help discredit James. The clergyman used church records to help subject James and his family to a period of harassment and fear.
The church has deliberately tried to hinder investigations into James’s complaint against it, and it has destroyed documents that would have helped his case.
We are helping James claim compensation for this deplorable data privacy violation.
*Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality.
The UK’s data protection watchdog – The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – has issued new guidance to help political parties achieve data protection compliance
While each case is judged on its own merits, there are some things we would typically look for when it comes to when claiming compensation following a data breach, cybercrime or other GDPR violation:
With stolen data, cybercriminals can make purchases using your bank and credit cards, apply for credit in your name, set up fraudulent bank accounts and access your existing online accounts.
GDPR failures, cybercrime and data breaches can have a significant impact on you, both mentally and physically. They can cause or exacerbate anxiety, stress and other psychological conditions.